March 27, 2014

Lesson 180: My House, The General Store

Remember my adventure into the world of milling and muffin making? Remember how it all began with a 50 pound bag of organic wheat berries split between two mamas looking for healthy, inexpensive options for their families?

Oh friends, that was just the beginning.

50 pounds of wheat berries, quickly became another 50 pounds of wheat berries ...

and 25 pounds of chick peas.

and 25 pounds of black beans.

and 25 pounds of kidney beans.

and 25 pounds of 7 grain cereal (fancy, shmancy oatmeal).

and 50 pounds of brown rice.

and cocoa powder.

and cocoa chips.

My house has literally become a general store, feed sacks and all. Welcome to the prairie! Do you need a new rake, 25 pounds of brown sugar or a dress with puffed sleeves? (Anne of Green Gables anyone?)

The chick peas arrived first, and with those dried, camel-colored beans came much trepidation.

What does one do with one chick pea, let alone hundreds?

It is no exaggeration when I say, at the beginning, Mark and I did not have a single chick pea recipe between the two of us.

But we've learned, oh have learned.

And our friends have learned with us, as we served homemade hummus at Mark's ordination party, a Sunday School Christmas Party, a Seminary Friends' Christmas Party, and a Sister-in-Law's Girls' Christmas Party.

Just before "the Ashbaugh's" became synonymous with "hummus" we quit making it cold turkey. We've had enough for a while!

Mark also attempted falafel one Friday night, and we ate leftovers for lunch the next day, dinner Saturday night, lunch atfter church, and dinner before Sunday night church. We also served it on Christmas Eve!

If you were not aware, chick peas multiply.

Ok, so. The chick peas have seen some action, as has the brown rice and oatmeal mixture. But the black beans? The cocoa power? The kidney beans? Collecting dust.

They're destined for the clearance section, if you know what I mean. 

Friends, I need your help. I do not want this precious inventory, I mean food, to go to waste.

Hear my cry, "Recipes. Recipes. Please!" (Preferrably easy (and healthy ones).)

If you opened your pantry door and stumbled upon, say, 12.5 pounds of black beans, kidney beans, chick peas, and brown rice, what would you make?!?!?! Oh, I just can't wait for your ideas!

And listen, if you wake up sometime craving beans, our door is always open (for business.)

Lesson Learned: Do not be surprised if you receive the gift of dried beans in a mason jar tied with a ribbon for your birthday this year ... and on Christmas morning ... and as a housewarming gift ... and at your baby shower. 


  1. I have been obsessed with chickpeas - try toasting them:

    or maybe make these: I have wanted to make these for awhile now!

    This is Suzi - good luck with those beans!

  2. (black beans + brown rice)


  3. Here are some favorites at our house:
    And one that I haven't tried but have my eye on:
    We serve a lot of stews and chilis over brown rice as well. Here's the post that taught me to cook brown rice that wasn't mushy, though you may be fine on that front already:
    I'm enjoying these recommendations!

  4. This reminded me of playing Oregon Trail as a child....and buying supplies for the trip. On another note, my husband and I have been loving some black beans these days and I just blogged about a quinoa stuffed pepper recipe we used them in:

    Another recipe that will be coming soon is a pablano pepper & mango quesadilla meal (with black beans of course). Both recipes suffice for our Meatless Mondays and the black beans are great at providing plenty of sustenance.

    And...cold, cooked chickpeas are an amazing addition to salads if you can stand to eat any more right now.

    Glad to see this post!

  5. You could make taco soup and add your black beans to the soup and serve over brown rice!


  6. Black beans are used often in vegan recipes. I tried making black bean brownies once, they were edible, but nothing special. You can give that a go and see if your batch turned out better than mine. Also I've had friends make black bean burgers.

    Also this site says you can make black bean ice cream?!? Let me know how that turns out!

    And I definitely had the Anne of Green Gables reference nailed after rake! haha!

  7. we LOVE black beans! we could eat five pounds of black beans a week.
    here's one of my favorite black bean recipes:

    1 link Kielbasa, diced & browned to give it a nice crispness ( we like the turkey one b/c it's less greasy than the all beef) (I used 2 links last night)
    1 onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic minced
    1 tsp cumin

    Boil & Simmer:
    Black beans (I did 3 cans last night) rinsed & drained
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbsp wine
    1 bay leaf
    1 tsp annatto
    1 tsp oregano, or to taste
    1 tsp cumin, or to taste
    1 tsp tumeric, or to taste
    1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
    1/2 tsp brown sugar
    1/2 tsp white vinegar

    Add ¼ cup water to 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add everything & bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors come together, about 10 minutes.

    Serve everything over rice.

    Garnish with sour cream, cheese, pineapple, avocado or guacamole, salsa, hot sauce etc.

  8. (about 2 cups dry beans instead of canned)

  9. I haven't tried these yet but they sound tasty!


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